D&D Basic Monsters: Dire Wolf

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While the Worg is a fantastical creature, imbued with some intelligence, the Dire Wolf is more of a prehistoric beasts, akin to the Sabre-toothed tiger and the Axe Beak. As already mentioned, in the original Monster Manual, the worg and the dire wolf shared stat block, the only difference being their intelligence. Since then, they've diverged a bit.

In fact, the Dire Wolf (Canis dirus) was a real type of wolf that inhabited Northern America up until the last ice ages, going extinct about 10,000 years ago. It was however only marginally larger than the "modern" Grey Wolf, being slightly heavier set, with a larger skull, but with approximately the same shoulder height.

For a proper prehistoric wolf-like beast, the Andrewsarchus would be a closer match to the D&D version of the Dire Wolf, with a skull nearly a meter long, it probably stood 6 feet tall at the shoulders, and possibly measuring as much as 15 feet from head to tail. Though it might have looked like a monstrous wolf, it was not actually related to modern wolves, having hooved feet, not claws, and as such it was probably closer related to pigs than wolves and dogs.

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